Title: One's Most Hated Name
Author: Forgotten Aspen
Summary: Harry Potter's younger brother, Mark was thought to be the prophesized child and Harry was left to the orphanage. Harry's adventure as a first year student will turn for the worst as Voldemort tries and persuade Harry against his detestable family.
Genre: Angst/ Action&Adventure
The music was grand, the drumbeats alternating between fast and slow. Just as Harry became used to the pace, the melody sped up or slowed down. It was almost as if the song was enchanted to keep its listeners at unease. Harry steadied himself by leaning on the table lined with snacks for the champions.
"You think 'zis room would be spelled to colder, non?" Fleur casually made her way to Harry. "Even back home, 'ze heat was not like this."
Harry took a sip of water, "Yeah, wonder why its so hot in here."
"Really Harry?" a familiar voice rang behind him, "You really do not know why this room feels like its on fire? I feel as though flames are coming out of my mouth"
Harry turned around to face Morran, "Subtlety is not your strong point. I suggest sticking to bullying those weaker than you."
"Our First Champion, representing Beauxbatons, Fleur Delacourt!" A loud voice boomed from outside their tent.
"Ah, zis is me," Fleur noted as she smiled charmingly before exiting the Champions tent. A loud roar followed her exit and Harry knew the task is underway.
"How do you think she will fare with the dragon?" Morran questioned.
"I don't know" Harry responded dully, unwilling to entertain Morran even further.
"What about yourself," Morran pushed, "What have you cooked up your sleeve?"
Harry rolled his eyes, Morran's attempts at conversation did not help his unease before the Frist Task. "Just because I tolerate you because I must doesn't mean I have accepted what you done to Draco's mother. You also brought me in front of the Dark Lord remember, and now I serve as a Death Eater because of you. Draco's safety now lies with me passing the Dark Lord's tasks. You pretend to be on our side, warning me to not join the tournament but here we are. Just what are your motives? What are you thinking?"
Harry expected Morran to back off, he wanted to nothing more than the boy to leave so he could practise his spells he intended to use on the dragon. No such luck however as he watched Morran break into a smile. His eyes remained cold.
"Unbelievable as it may seem, Potter, I am here to protect my brother. Our lord will want to initiate Draco and I came here to make sure that didn't happen. I tried to make sure you, as Draco's friend was out of the tournament considering I wanted Draco as far from the Dark Lords reach as possible. So you could imagine my surprise when I found out that my idiot of a brother decided to befriend you, a Potter. The estranged brother of the Chosen One. So now my brother's head is on your shoulders, of course I have to help you." Morran leaned in, his voice barely audible above a whisper.
"If you wanted to help your brother, you wouldn't have killed your mother," Harry shot back.
"If I didn't, my father would have tortured her first. What choice did I have?" Morran leaned back, almost as though tired from the weight of the conversation, "I did not chose this life as I am sure you did not chose to be the Chosen Ones brother. But we are in the same boat and must obey for my brother, Draco's sake. We cannot fight each other while his safety is on the line."
Harry grabbed his goblet of water and he sat down on a couch adjacent to the table.
A loud voice boomed, "Our next champion, Morran Malfoy of Durmstrang. Please step forth and face your First Task"
"You're right, so here we are killing dragons and stealing hearts," Harry nodded, "Still don't like you though".
Morran smiled back and winked, "We need to get the job done, who cares if you fancy me?"
"Get over yourself," was all Harry could say before Morran walked out with roars and applause following suit.
"Accio lemon drop," Harry whispered as he pointed to the pasties on the table. A yellow hard candy began flying into his outstretched hand.
Harry wasn't nervous per say, but he couldn't stay seated for long. Without his books, Draco, and even Pansy to offer himself distractions, he couldn't help his mind wandering back to his worries that have clouded him over the past weeks. How the hell did Voldemort know about Kyle? Forget that, how did he raise the dead? And why did Voldemort even need me, didn't he have powerful wizards and witches in his inner circle, what does he need me for exactly?
Harry enchanted another lemon drop to float into his mouth. He knew he couldn't question the Dark Lord over this. He didn't even know how to contact the Dark Lord directly.
'Well, I suppose I don't go to the Dark Lord, he comes to me if he ever needs anything,' Harry pondered and he continued to pace the room.
Before long, a huge roar came from the direction of the courtyard. Harry guessed the Champions tent was spelled so he couldn't hear the announcements. Makes sense, Harry thought, hearing what happens gives the last Champion an upper hand.
"And the last Champion, representing Hogwarts, Harry Preston!"
Harry reached for his wand and walked out of the tent.
It was bright and loud. Harry took his time adjusting to the light. When he could make out the field clearly, he paused in admiration. The area enclosed must have been 5 football fields in length and width. Large stands were erected surrounding the field and perched upon these stands were thousands of exited witches and wizards. Most of them wearing the Hogwarts crest, and about half wore silver and green.
Harry could feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins, mixing with the loud cheers arising from the massive bleachers.
"Harry Preston," A loud voice Harry recognized to be that of his headmaster boomed and the cheers quieted, "Your task is to capture the golden egg hidden among the many that is protected by the Norwegian dragon you see in the center of the field."
Harry looked out onto the court - a single dragon rested in the middle of it. The dragon was not as big as he expected but its eyes looked ferocious and its fiery breath shot pretty far.
"Time is of the essence, Mr. Preston and the faster you can retrieve the egg, the more points you get. If you fail to obtain the egg, you lose. Are you ready?" Dumbledore asked as all eyes focused onto Harry.
Harry looked at Dumbledore, and noticed the rest of the Professors looking down at him. Snape looked onwards with curiosity and if Harry wasn't wrong, a bit of pride for representing his house in this tournament. Harry continued to sweep the stand until his eyes focused on the Potters. James was grasping onto Lily's hands and the two held up a Hogwarts flag. They looked proud, and happy for him. Harry hated their overbearing sense of parental commitment and forced himself to look on. Beside James Potter was the Potter Jr twat. Mark with the help of his two friends held up a large flag of a serpent hissing at Durmstrang and Beauxbaton students. Harry raised an eyebrow at his younger brother. What is it with these Potters, and their belligerent desire to force their need of a relationship onto him?
A few seats to the right was Draco. Draco, unlike his own brother did not look excited for his friend to prove himself in battle, in fact, he looked unnerved. Harry immediately knew why when Malfoy Sr. placed a hand on Draco's shoulder, shifting Harry gaze to the older man. Lucius Malfoy smirked and nodded towards Harry. The bastard.
"Are you ready, Mr. Preston?" Dumbledore boomed again and Harry nodded to begin the match.
Harry stepped into the enclosed area and realized how wrong his initial assessment was. The dragon was far larger with its wings extended and far more menacing now that its attention focused onto Harry.
Harry didn't waste any time and cried out like many times he had done in practise "Accio Nimbus 2001" .
It took a while, since Harry left it in the Slytherin dorms, but he knew the broom would come since he had left his window open. The shiny black broom slapped his hand hard when it landed and Harry took off.
He forgot how freeing it was to move anywhere, in any which direction that came with flying. The dragon noticed Harry's flight and began beating his wings to match Harry's height off the ground. Before long, the dragon took off after him, sending hot flames his way. Dodging the streams of fire, Harry turned to hex the dragon. The curses only hit its large black scales and did no damage besides enraging the dragon further as the dragon's fire nipped the end of his broom.
Loud gasps were heard from around the stadium and Harry leaned in closer to his broom in attempts to go faster. The scales reflected every spell Harry threw at it. Harry smirked, as expected. He wasn't coming in to kill a dragon without reading up on it first. The dragon was a magical beast with many properties linked with enhancing spells. Its scales are known to reflect curses.
When Harry got far enough from the Norwegian, he turned his broom around. Facing the dragon, he felt the heat from the dragons breath rise as another rush of fire was about to come out.
"Aqua consulo," Harry roared as stream of water came out of his wand. It raced into the dragon's mouth and Harry followed the jet of water. He felt the sizzle of steam as water boiled about him but he made it in the dragons mouth in one piece.
"Acuere" Harry muttered as the heat dried his saliva. His nimbus 2001's handle-end elongated and sharpened. Harry tried sticking the end up but realized that the roof of the dragons mouth, though not as hard as the scales was tough, much like thick leather. It looked like he couldn't puncture the dragons mouth, not matter how hard he aimed upwards.
Harry swore while sweating profusely as he tried to jab the dragon again. Although different from what he had initially planned, the end result was the same. The dragon roared and closed its own mouth, annoyed at the itching from the inside, and oblivious to the stake Harry had prepared.
The beast yelled and fell head first onto the ground. The flight wasn't so far up and the dragon's mouth was very cosy as Harry made his way out.
Roars of cheers sounded as Harry stepped out of the dragon's mouth. Harry looked up to his friend Draco, who was hugging Pansy and roaring, oblivious to his father beside him.
Harry marched to the middle of the field and grabbed the golden egg, surprisingly easily found amidst black ones. The roaring grew louder as Harry raised his fists in the air and couldn't help himself from smiling ear to ear.
Harry looked down to witness his handiwork with the Norwegian when he noticed the dragon move from his peripheral vision. Its eyes were shut but low groans could be heard emanating from the dragon. Harry saw that his broom went straight through the dragons mouth and out in front of its eyes. Flocks of dragon keepers in attempts to heal the injured dragon surrounded the flying beast as thin wisps of smoke came out of its nostrils. It was still alive.
He felt his knees go weak as Fleur and Morran marched onto the field. Morran took one look at the injured and undead dragon and gave Harry a disgusted look.
Side by side in the middle of the field the champions stood. The Norwegian was carted off and Dumbledore began to announce the results.
"I would like to congratulate all those who have come to witness the First Task of the Tri-Wizard tournament today. The results are as follows" Dumbledore slowed his speech, upping the intensity, "Fleur Delacourt with her quick thinking to transfigure rocks on the ground into dragon eggs and confusing her dragon finished in a time of 15 minutes and 33 seconds".
Fleur took a step forward with grime across her robes and smiled as her school clapped the loudest for her.
"And next, we have Mr. Morran Malfoy," Dumbledore announced. Harry was surprised at Morran's reception, thunderous roars of approval filled the stadium. Hogwarts students, even those from Slytherin cheered the boy on.
"Yes, it was indeed impressive. Mr. Malfoy's use of his quick wits in blinding his dragon by a simple freezing charm aimed at the eyes allowed him to spread his freezing spell into the dragons skull, whereby killing it. Ingenious. However, these dragons were entrusted to us by ministries across Europe and killing one is very serious indeed. As it is no fault of his own, I shall continue with the results." Dumbledore peered over his spectacles at Malfoy, "You have completed this task in 16 minutes and 19 seconds".
Boos could be heard from the stands where the Durmstrang boys huddled in response to their placement. Morran simply smiled back, as though he didn't have a care in the world. Harry could tell this was a farce, no way Morran could remain calm after Harry being unable to finish off the dragon for the Dark Lord.
"Our last champion, representing Hogwarts is Harry Preston," Dumbledore announced to cheers from his students, "Mr. Preston was able to use his broom to position himself with streams of water to enter his dragon's mouth. From there, he pierced the roof of his dragons mouth and have it come out between its eyes. Luckily for the ministry, the roof of the dragon's mouth is not linked to any vitals and the dragon shall be nursed to health by his caretakers."
Harry looked at Morran which nodded to his father. Malfoy Sr. looked onwards with slitted eyes, his lips curled in menace. Harry knew then, he had royally screwed up.
Serves them right, Harry noted. What did they expect from a first year anyways?
"Harry Preston's total time is 16 minutes," Dumbledore began as the stadium quieted, "and 22 seconds. The order that is set after the First Task is Fleur Delacourt, Morran Malfoy, and Harry Preston!"
The crowd exploded once more, some spectators pumped that their Champions were first, but the majority was upset that their home turf advantage was pointless from their champion's last place.
Harry didn't care. He grabbed Morran and headed off the side to the Champions tent. Expecting privacy to discuss their situation, he discovered that it was no longer possible. Flashes of light flickered as soon as the boys entered. Journalists and photographers lined the side of the tent waiting as Fleur joined the room.
Lucius Malfoy soon appeared and made his way between Morran and Harry, grasping their shoulders.
"Thank you all for coming today and I hope you have all enjoyed watching our Champions fight against these monsters. I can't say I am not biased at being especially proud of my son Morran for his hard work. However, I am indeed pleased with the work Harry and Fleur have brought forth. All three Champions have proved that they are indeed worthy of representing their schools. We will begin taking questions for the next bit of time." Malfoy donned his political persona, smiling at his son and the three competitors when necessary.
"What of the dragon Mr. Morran Malfoy killed?" a tiny Asian reporter asked.
"It will be dealt with and disposed of respectfully, like all magical creatures who have passed. Next question?" Malfoy Sr. asked.
"What will your mother think of your first place position, Fleur?" a taller man asked from the back.
"I do believe 'zat she will cry. She was very very worry about me," Fleur smiled back.
"Mr. Preston! How do you feel about your parents?" A reporter asked as Harry's eyes narrowed, "I hear that you grew up muggleborn, do they understand how you are representing your school?"
Harry smiled back, "Yes, they are aware, and they couldn't be more proud."
Hell if he wanted to stand out and act moody in front of the whole world, he could. However, he preferred to remain under the sensors, no matter how hard it was to remain under the sensors as a first year Champion.
Dull questions concerning Yule ball dates, friends, family, and schooling continued on and on. Most were focused on Fleur, who had just won first place and was leading.
What felt like hours later, Lucius spoke up, "Thank you so much for your time today, but these three must be exceptionally hungry after today and I'm sure they would like to change out of these soot-filled clothes as soon as they can. That will be all, and you will have more chances to question the students after the Second Task"
Fleur stayed back to receive congratulations from her school and headmistress while Harry shot Morran a look and tilted his head, an indication that he wanted to be followed.
Morran nodded and kept in pace behind Harry. They turned into Harry's history of magic's classroom and making sure the door was closed, Harry opened his mouth to begin to speak.
"What the bloody hell are you doing, Harry?" Morran demanded, "You had one job. One. Kill the stupid flying bird and take out its heart. Why on Earth did you fail?"
Harry became annoyed, "How the hell am I supposed to know the bloody stake came out from the wrong angle? It was supposed to pierce its brains"
Harry was more annoyed with himself than Morran, had the stake been a few more inches to the back and he would have a heart to present Voldemort.
"What do I now?" Harry asked aloud, it was rhetorical, not that Morran would know by him jumping on the question.
"What do you do? You die. That's what you do. The Dark Lord specifically asked for two dragon hearts. Do you know what he had to go through to bring dragons to England and for the dragons to die without suspicion?" Morran exclaimed as he heaved himself onto a desk, shaking his head, "Your life, my brothers life, and Merlin knows who else is going down for your mistake."
"It's not over yet is it?" Harry challenged, "It can't be finished. We were to present your father two dragon hearts by tonight and I will."
Morran rolled his eyes, "And how will you do that? Look, if you want to live. Try bringing your brother to the Dark Lord, maybe he'll have enough mercy to spare your life."
"No, listen to me," Harry approached Morran, "You said the dragons would still be in their cages, right? We also still have to produce your dragon's heart. Why can't I finish off the dragon then and there, and take the Norwegian's heart too?"
"You think they are to let a dragon in critical condition just wallow in its injuries? If the dragon is still there, there will be wizards and witches are trying to heal it, there will be practically an army surrounding the dragon. How am I to bloody retrieve my own dragon heart now that you have ruined it for the both of us?" Morran whispered, his eyes closed and his fingered massaging his temples.
"Good" Harry smirked.
Morran looked up inquisitively.
"You're in the same boat as me, we are going in getting your damned heart, and killing my dragon to get mine," Harry's eyes pierced into Morran, daring him to say no.
"Well, not exactly the same boat," Morran looked up, meeting Harry's gaze, "It's more like I'm on the smart, elegant boat that survived while yours sunk and you clamber onto my ship, enjoying my ride."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "Same difference, I'm taking that as we're going for the dragon hearts as planned?"
Morran nodded, "I wouldn't say as planned because you utterly failed. But yes, we will have to go retrieve the hearts while the others eat at the Feast."
Harry grabbed the door handle, "Meet me here in 30 minutes. Don't draw suspicion onto yourself. We're going to get the bloody Dark Lord his damned hearts."
Harry drew a quick shower and got into his school cloak. He brought out the Maurauders Map from under the bed and was about to leave when Draco entered.
"Hey Harry," Draco muttered, "Looks like you failed."
Harry snorted, "Well yes, thanks for cushioning that for me. I didn't notice."
Draco looked Harry up and down and the map in Harry's hands. He remembered Harry telling him about Professor Potter's map after he came back from his kidnap.
"You're planning to finish the dragon off now are you?" Draco questioned.
Harry raised an eyebrow at Draco.
Shrugging, Draco explained, "You failed at killing the dragon and still need to produce a heart. Not that big of a leap. Not all of us are as stupid and you hope us to be, you know."
"Didn't Snape and Potter call you stupid in their classes? Who can't recite fiul poison effects?" Harry rolled his eyes, "I mean, are you sure you were raised out from under a rock?"
"Shut up. Where are we going," Draco asked, pulling on his cloak.
"You sure you want to come? I don't think your brother wants you involved any further than necessary," Harry muttered as he sat back down, waiting for Draco to pull on his shoes.
"You think I care about what he wants? He killed my mother. I'm only tolerating him because of his business with you" Draco hissed.
"Well, you know he had no choice," Harry looked at Draco.
"He could have died, and not killed her. I would have," Draco muttered, "We don't need to discuss this, let's go"
Harry exited, Draco at his heels as they met up with Morran. The halls were quiet, as expected the students were at the feast.
Harry pulled out his map, and whispered "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good"
Morran looked on quizzically at the parchment Harry held but did not question him.
Ink lines began appearing on the parchments. Harry looked down, noticing the inked footprints of the three boys. His eyes flickered to the clear path to the forbidden forest. Time to go.
The three boys wordlessly made their way down the stairs, past the Great Hall and through the Hogwarts entrance. Harry had to stop a few times to allow Flich's cat pass and to steer away from Nearly Headless Nick.
At the mouth of the Forbidden Forest, Harry pocketed his map – it didn't cover the forest. Harry drew his wand and the Malfoys followed suit. It wasn't hard to locate where the dragons were kept.
Tall jets of fire originated from the center of the woods.
Draco raised his eyebrow, "Its like they're welcoming us, lets go."
Harry nodded and made his way through the trees in the direction of the lights. As they walked further, less and less trees blocked their vision to their target. When finally, they saw a cleared area, lit with floating candles. The three dragons were in their cages, as expected, one alive, one dead, and one barely breathing surrounded by half a dozen witches and wizards.
"Merlin," Morran muttered, "Well we got our work cut out for us."
Harry nodded, "Muggle phrases Morran?"
Morran shrugged, "Muggleborns have apt phrases, what can I say?"
"We each get 2 of them?" Draco nodded towards the healers around the injured Norwegian dragon.
Before Draco got up, Harry grabbed his robe and yanked him down again.
"No. If you think we can go in, take down two or three of them, and the rest of them will close their eyes and lie down for us, you have to be thick," Harry whispered, "We need to take them out without them realizing its us."
"How to do you think we can do that?" Draco whispered.
Harry thought for a few minutes and looked up at Draco, "How good is your acting?"
Unlike his wife, James Potter liked the heat. It reminded him of his days as an auror before he joined Hogwarts as the DADA professor. As an auror, the rush of adrenaline and the sweat on his brow from working the streets gave him a kick. James watched the healers brew healing potions in attempt to calm the injured dragon. The healing potions from earlier on seemed to do the trick and the dragon's bleeding stopped.
James brought out his Snitch from his robe pocket and let it go and began catching it. He had been doing this since Harry came back. He was at a loss on what to do with his child. Although he detested Harry being the Champion when he first found out, he couldn't help but swell with pride now that he found out his son was representing Hogwarts. James grabbed the snitch from the air again, watching its wings beat against his palm. His attention however, was drawn to the edge of the clearing, beyond the other two dragons and the healers tending to the Norwegian.
Two figured clad in Slytherin robes walked forth. The two tried to keep to the shadows casted by the trees, but James cringed at the pitiful attempt.
"Hey you two! It is forbidden to enter the forest, shouldn't you be at the feast?" James stood and walked to their direction. "It's dangerous here, clear off. I have an itch to knock off points from your house"
"Professor?" Harry locked eyes with his father, "What are you doing here?"
"Harry?" James eyes narrowed, "That's your friend Malfoy?"
James reached around Harry's shoulders, steering him away from Malfoy. "You need to stay away from their family, Harry. You know his father and brother and working to kill your brother. Your life will be in danger every second longer you remain with your friend. What are you thinking? Bringing him to the Forbidden Forest by yourselves?"
Draco glared at his professor, itching to practise the leg lock curse he had just learned from a third year. Calming himself, he walked up to the two, "Professor, I really wanted to see the dragons. Besides, Harry didn't want to face the other student. Being that he is in last place and all…" Draco looked down, seeming sheepish that he got caught.
James relaxed a bit with Draco's explanation, "Dragons are dangerous creatures. You saw as much as the others during the First Task. If you don't want to be at the feast with the others, I suggest you two retire for the night."
Harry sigh, frustrated that his plan was derailing before it could even be set into motion, "But, Mr. Potter! I really want to show my friend what it looks like up close. Besides, I feel like I was too harsh when we last spoke. Maybe we can talk about it? Father?"
James was taken aback to say the least. His arm around Harry clenched even further and he could feel his eyes collecting tears, threatening to spill. His chest felt like bursting, pride, joy, and hope all gathered, reflected in his smile.
James dragged the two towards the healthy dragon that Fleur had faced and began explaining the life cycles of dragons and why they are considered to be mystical. "They are very protective of their young, their maternal instincts are comparable of slugflies where they would even attack the father if he presented a threat. This is why we had the Champions try to take an egg, it's so –"
James stopped short of finishing that sentence when a shot of red light came soaring from beyond the clearing and hit a healer square in the chest. Before anyone else could move, a second light shot at another wizard and he promptly fell, immobile on the grass.
Trying to avoid the incoming spells, the remaining 3 healers ran towards to opposite side of the clearing, away from the attacks. Harry nodded at Draco, who donned a terrified expression and followed the healers. Out of sight, Draco stunned the three of them. An easy feat, as their backs were towards Draco.
James rolled over the next shot of red light and while screaming at Harry to stay behind the dragon, he ran headfirst into the forest. Harry followed, his father's cloak billowing against the night breeze while cracking the branches at his feet.
"Stupefy" Harry muttered, his hand outstretched towards his father as he could tell the figure slumped down.
From beside him, Morran appeared, disheveled. "Didn't know the ex-auror was here, that could have been trouble."
The two made their way back to the clearing, where Draco waited for them, leaning against the dead dragons bars.
"Morran, work on getting your heart," Harry pointed, "Draco, help me with mine."
The boys made their way to their respective dragons. Reaching his injured Norwegian, Harry and Draco shared a look. Apprehension.
The dragon was breathing heavy, though injured and behind bars, it still radiated a majestic aura that was befitting of a creature that existed in this magical world. Slowly, as though the beast sensed danger, it opened its eyes. Its eyes looked like a bright green marble, its lids weary from the days fight.
Harry gulped. He had never killed anything like this before, maybe he had got into a few violent fights that resulted in near-death states of on both sides, but nothing as permanent and final and death.
Silently, carefully avoiding the beasts gaze, he reached for his wand and focused it on the soft underbelly that ran the length of the dragon. Vulnerable to spells, it was too soft for the sharp point of metal.
"Mutatio smila" Harry said, his wand turning cool to the touch. The dull black wood turned bright silver, with a thin blade. Harry pressed it to the dragons flesh, a small red drop of blood traced down its folds of skin. The Norwegian gave a low grumble.
"So this is what you do for your master, Harry?" Draco looked pitifully at the listless dragon, "In our world, dragons are known to be born of fire and flight. Strong, and proud. Reminds me of you, its such a pity to kill one."
"Well little bro, I'm pretty sure he does it for you more than our Dark Lord," Morran appeared, holding a blood stained bag sac, red crimson dripped onto the soft forest floor.
Draco raised an eyebrow, "I see you finished your task."
Morran ran a hand through his hair and smiled, "I'm sure Harry would have finished his task too if you didn't badger him about his job. Which coincidently, he is stuck doing because of you. Remember?"
Draco snapped to meet Morrans eyes. "I don't recall bringing him to Voldemort all tied up with a bow."
Harry ignored the two as he continue to cut deeper him the dragons chest. Although he pictured himself cutting out a dragon's heart, he didn't expect it to be this bloody. He would have loved nothing more than to somehow spell the heart out but dragons are impervious to so many kinds of magic, he did not know what else he could do other than the tried and true street muggle method – making a shank from his wand.
Smiling to himself as his robes bloodied with the dirty work, Harry isolated the heart from the rest of the vessels. In one fell swoop he swung his makeshift knife down and pulled out the heart, plopping it into Morrans sack. Blood squirted everywhere, the dragon groaned and lay motionless. The dragon seemed still, looking nothing like the majestic creature from earlier this morning. It resembled a life-size statue of its former self, motionless, lifeless, and unnerving in its silence.
Morran pointed to Harry's bloodied robes and whispered a cleaning charm. "Well boys, time for me to deliver these to my father." Morran turned heel and disappeared into the forest thickets, where James Potter was stunned.
Harry smeared dirt on his newly clean face and looked at Draco, "Time for the final act".
Draco raised an eyebrow, "Think he'll believe you?"
Harry nodded, "He'll believe anything I present him with because he still sees me as a scared orphaned child."
Draco followed suit and smeared dirt on his robes before asking, "I don't see you as that."
Harry shot Draco a quizzical look and sat down. Draco let himself sit, leaning on the cage bars.
"I see you as a git who's too headstrong for his own good." Draco's features softened before he continued, "But your selfless Harry. When you befriend someone you would do anything for them. Kyle. Me. I can't say I feel comfortable letting you do this for me."
"What's done is done. I may have joined for you but it's not like I can back out now. I have to survive for myself," Harry looked up at the night sky, it was dark and shrouded with distant leaves and branches from tall trees that blocked out even starlight.
"My mother," Draco went quiet for a bit before continuing, "She said there will be a war soon. Too many wizards are involved and too much is at stake. Most of those in the Ministry either backs Dumbledore or Voldemort, albeit secretly. I doubt those who want to remain impartial can – why keep them working there when you can replace them with someone loyal to your cause? My mother was too caring about her children to allow us to follow in my father's footsteps, she wanted me to avoid all that. She watched all the horrific things my father had done to prove his loyalty to Voldemort after they had us. She didn't want to watch me grovel to a wizard who was less man and more serpent, degrading myself and my own values."
"It's not that bad." Harry said, not believing his own words, "Your mother is right, the Ministry is crawling with spies for either side. Dumbledore knows the Minister, you father, is working for Voldemort. How can I, a Potter by blood, the one to take down Voldemort's first rise, be sideless in this?"
Draco nodded, "I'd imagine we would all be on a side fighting both alongside and against our friends, classmates, and families."
"Well aren't you just so prolific in your philosophy. Please, tell me more about this war-filled future," Harry replied drily.
"I guess I'm just trying to say that you had to join a side sooner or later. I cannot join Voldemort, he killed my mother. Maybe not directly, but in my eyes, it was not my father, nor my brother that led to her death, it was him. I know he used me and Kyle and leverage, but why not his side over your parents?"
"Draco, you sorely lack in the ability to make people feel better," Harry scoffed, "You don't like your parents, so you obviously should kill a dragon for an evil power-hungry maniac and fight for him in this upcoming big ass war. Thanks Draco, what happened to the famous Malfoy tact and?"
"I would be more tactful but I didn't want you to miss the point. I mean not only did you not kill the dragon the first time around, you place our school last in the tournament. I even tried to use small words so you wouldn't get confused," Draco pinched the bridge of his nose as though they had a massive headache. Though his hand blocked some of his face, Draco's mischievous smile did not escape Harry.
"Draco, the day you think you can confuse me with words is the day pigs fly," Harry snorted.
"Pigs fly?" Draco asked.
"Muggle expression. Speaking of confusing someone with easy words…"Harry teased.
"Ha.. ha.. ha…" Draco laughed dryly, idly still dirtying up his robes.
Cloaked figures began to appear from the edge of the clearing, walking towards to duo. Harry nudged Draco and he transfigured his wand back to normal.
Draco nodded and before the cloaked figures approached, Draco whispered, "Still can't believe you called him father. Pretty sad there, Harry."
Harry shot Draco an annoyed look, "Had to. Then again, pretty rich coming from you, no?"
Harry eyed the cloaked figure of James becoming visible, with the candlelight illuminating his face.
"Well, Draco, time to start Act Two."
A/N: I sometimes send the beginning of next chapters out early to reviwers/pm. I would like to know when you started reading this story! I would be amazed if anybody continued reading this from years ago.